Colombians already travel more abroad than in the pre-pandemic

Colombians already travel more abroad than in the pre-pandemic

In 2022 the economic reactivation has been in constant growth, But tourism has been one of the last sectors to gain strength, and it has not yet reached pre-pandemic levels of passenger movement entering and leaving the country.

In the first four months of the year, 1,244,261 entries into the country and 1,482,890 departures of Colombians were reported. These figures reflect levels very similar to those of the pre-pandemic, where there were 1,298,569 and 1,426,809 respectively.

(See: Rappi Travel projects growth of 300% in the holiday season).

The departures from the country reflect a new dynamic of greater emission of Colombians in 2022. Among the reasons for this dynamic is tourism in the first place, followed by those who hold the category of resident, crew, work and business.

The main destination to which Colombians travel is to the United States, for tourism (241,092), for being a resident (218,535), for crew (14,054) or to study (9,944). In second place is Mexico, which, like the US, is a favorite destination for tourism (202,126).

In Europe, Spain tops the list with one72,408 trips reported in the first four months of the year. Of the total, 113,562 transfers to the country are due to tourism, 45,782 for residence and 3,320 for studies.

For the Colombian Foreign Ministry, “Colombians who emigrate do so for various reasons and to different destinations. Among the main reasons are the search for job opportunities, taking into account the demand for a low-skilled workforce in developed countries and the effect of globalization on the increase in the workforce that seeks higher remuneration in developed countries.”, he indicated.

(See: Avianca requests authorization to fly to Venezuela).

Likewise, the entity ensures that family reunification, the improvement of quality of life levels and the offer of studies in higher education from other states, are other reasons.


In the case of non-national travelers entering Colombia, according to figures from Migración Colombia, 991,751 entries and 1,032,090 exits have been reported this year through the different land, sea and air corridors. In 2019 these figures were, with a cut to April, 1,322,132 and 1,383,608 respectively. This means that although it has been recovering after the severe drop in travelers in the country in 2020, and even 2021, pre-pandemic levels have not yet been reached.

The recovery in relation to the statistics of the entry of travelers from abroad to the country is at 75%, and regarding departures from the country of foreigners, it already reaches a level of 76%.

(See: Exit of Colombians abroad exceeded pre-pandemic levels).

In this regard and compared to the figures reported by Migración Colombia, a clear tendency is seen this year of leveling in relation to the entrances and exits of the country by foreigners. For January, the number of departures from the national territory was greater.

A trend of several years, and that was also seen in 2019, showed a higher level of entries (332,396) and exits (364,779) from the country during the first month of the year, a very different dynamic compared to the reference month, April, which for the pre-pandemic year yielded the figures of 324,792 and 335,241 respectively.

Now, in 2022, the trend is the opposite, because, as the months go by the number of records of foreign travelers in the country increases.

In January, there were 222,683 entries to Colombia and 260,154 exits, figures lower than those registered in April 2022, with 273,809 (entries) and 272,965 (exits).

On the other hand, this year, it has been shown that the majority of visitors come from USA, followed by Venezuela, Panama, Mexico and Peru. And the preferred destinations par excellence are the city of Bogotá (arrival at El Dorado airport mostly), Medellín, Cartagena and Cali.

(See: Fuel cost is affecting the price of plane tickets).

However, regarding the characteristics of the travellers, it stands out above all that theThe people who come to Colombia for tourism are mostly men (250,188) between 30 and 39 years old, and in second place are women (190,051) between 18 and 29 years old.

For the business category, men predominate the item. With a cut to April, 14,484 tourist steps have been men between 40 and 49 years old and 11,020 between 30 and 39.

On this dynamic for PCortés classroom, executive president of Anato, the guild that represents travel agencies in the country, the reactivation process in international tourism has been gradual, but constant.

For example, a UNWTO survey of experts showed that international arrivals will not return to 2019 levels until 2024 or later. In the case of Colombia, it is expected that the total recovery in the arrival of non-resident visitors will occur in 2023”, he concluded.

Journalist Portfolio
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